Released by: AFM Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Heavy Metal/Industrial
Gothminister – vocals
Turbo Natas – guitars
Icarus – guitars
Chris Dead – drums
1. Someone Is After Me
8. All Alone
11. Raise The Dead
Who is scaring the children this summer ? Well Norwegian gothic metal outfit Gothminister is trying at least with their 5th album to date ‘Utopia’.
I must admit that I was not familiar with this band so it was quite an ‘adventure’ to listen to them. And I quote ‘adventure’ mainly for the reason that I was continuously trying to imagine the moving pictures that seem to be included on the bonus dvd that comes with the limited edition of this album.
It will be clear that I haven’t seen the film included but I’m sure it has to be very …eh….funny.
The horror story presented here deals with the double life of a guy who is lawyer by day and heavy metal musician at night, a combination that ultimately drives this guy mad, a bit of a Dr.Jeckyl and Mr.Hide so to speak. Apparently this story comes from the inspiration of frontman Bjørn Alexander Brem.
The music is for sure very cinematic and theatrical but I wouldn’t call it real horror, I mean the kind of horror that really creeps under your skin and not the highly visual type of horror you see in B-movies.
To me ‘Utopia’ is more of a soundtrack for a Harry Potter movie ! You can call it a pre-fabricated, McDonalds-kind-of-horror, ideal for scaring the children but hilarious to a serious music and/or horror fan.
So ‘Utopia’ never reaches the level of similar albums like Mercyful Fate’s ‘Melissa’ (1983) or King Diamond’s ‘Abigal’ (1987), two excellent dark, heavy metal classics with a true horror story and sound. But that’s probably not a fair comparison.
The 12 tracks here are stacked with clichés. A lot of orchestrated bits and pieces yes, but also a lot of boring metal riffs. Sometimes the vocals sound more like a gentle giant to me than of a dark, twisted psychopath ! However I must admit that this ‘fairytale horror’ still has a very catchy sound mostly due to industrial influence (Rammstein). It’s quite dance-able music, ideal for parties !
At the end, all I can say (with the cynical words of Roger Waters) is that “I amused myself to death” with this album.
Written by Ruud